Mahseer Trust present talk at conservation conference

Sep 21, 2016 | Research & Conservation

Mahseer conservation is all over the news in India recently, most notably with regard to the perilous state of the hump-back mahseer and various State Fishery Departments running or planning restocking campaigns.

This was the back-drop to Devi Ahilya University of Indore hosting a conference to debate issues surrounding mahseer conservation and the need for a national strategy to be implemented.

Trust Indian Regional Lead Trustee, Derek D’Souza (see photo, above) gave two presentations during the three-day conference: one about the current , parlous state of the hump-back mahseer; the second about the various outreach programmes we run, including Derek’s World Fish Migration Day camps. Both sessions were very well received and showed that most of the delegates were open to new ideas about conservation for both rivers and fish.

Derek reported: “There was a Q&A where some of the delegates asked me if the decline was due to stocking of Tor khudree? to which I replied: ‘it is one of the factors’.”

This idea has provoked some lively debate on the Friends of Indian Mahseer WhatsApp group page, with many well-known fish breeders and scientists clearly upset that their work is being questioned.

Mahseer Trust are clear in their mission to bring together those of differing viewpoints and experience. Only by sharing knowledge will such matters be addressed for the good of India’s riverine habitats and the mahseer which live in them, and the people who depend upon them.

Meanwhile, event co-organiser, Dr. Shirparna Saxena said, “without proper study of habitat and water quality, fish stocking should not be done.” Clearly, the message that habitat should take priority is being heard in certain places.

Other speakers at the conference offered thoughts on topics including: bio-technologies; clean energy needs; and mahseer breeding by Dr’s. Singh and Sharma of Bhimtal hatchery facility, who claimed that steps were needed, including genetic assessment, to ensure the correct identification of brood stock before any breeding and releases take place.

Mahseer Trust have a range of speakers who can offer presentations covering a number of topics. These include Derek (in India) with his outreach programmes, Adrian’s hump-back talk (see below) and Steve Lockett with a presentation entitled River Conservation – Global Connections.

More details about how to include one of our presentations will be available when our new website goes live; expected on the weekend of 8th October.

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